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By Jacqueline Stalnaker. Life Enthusiast.

Are teenagers in movies the epitome of life?

Question: Do teenagers try to implement actions seen in movies?

While many complex roles can be found in movies, one role seems to follow a trend on how it is portrayed. That role is a teenager. Even with a complex script and depth of character, the teenage role is usually surrounded by the same matching characters. With a teenage character, there are nearly always parents that are out of touch, a harsh teacher, enemies at school and a lover. For whatever reason, this has been defined as life as a teenager, at least in the eyes of those who create films.

With teenage roles being so similar, there is a need to examine the influence this portrayal has on teenagers outside of the movie screen. To understand this, we first need to understand why teenagers have become a stock character in many movies, rather than one with complexity.

Teenagers in movies reflect how adults view their teenage years

Why are teenage roles so shockingly similar in movies across the spectrum? Could it be that it is because, for the majority of people, this was the reality of their teenage years? Or maybe it is the reflection that they remember of their teenage years. Too often, how big everything felt is forgotten in lieu of, retrospectively, how simple everything was.

Teenagers in movies are an idolized version of how adults view teenage years

Perhaps even more than viewing the past to be better than it was, maybe it is an intentional misrepresentation of the past. It could be an effort to re-create teenage years in a better light than the filmmakers were able to experience them. It becomes both the haven that is fantasized to have been and the haven that one truly wishes it would have been.

How are teenagers in movies different from real teenagers?

Often, the teenagers we see in movies are far from an accurate picture of teenagers. Primarily, there is an age disparity of a few years between the actor and the character. Additionally, the actor's hair is perfect, body toned and braces gone. The reality of teenage life is far from included in the image of teenagers in films.

Do teenagers try to implement actions seen in movies?

With such differences, the question needs to be posed: What influence does this have on teenagers? Beauty standards are raised. Behaviors may be mimicked. Teenagers want to have a fun, carefree lifestyle, but they may not mimic movies quite as much as adults may believe. While being a teenager can be a trying time, it can also be one of the last care-free stages of your life before the pressures of society really hit.

The image of teenagers in movies is not created for teenagers themselves. Rather, the image is created by adults who wish their teenage years could have been a little different. The image is created according to the beauty and lifestyle standards that adults have set. In the end, the influence of teenagers in movies is creating a standard for society as a whole. They are not characters who solely teenagers try to be.

Do movies need to be conscientious of the image they create?

Writing can be about complexity and depth, but overall writing is about escape. Be a teenage character in a movie out of touch or not, the character is created to summon the viewer to their world for a brief time. The influence a character has on a viewer cannot be lumped into a demographic. Not all women aspire to be Carrie Bradshaw and not all teenagers aspire to be Rachel McAdams. Expressions of art should not be tailored to be a good influence in peoples' lives. In the end, the image of teenagers in movies is an escape for those who are creating the characters.

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